Matchup months are in preparation. Gonzaga and Baylor were scheduled to fight on December 5th when the Bulldogs were number 1 and the Bears number 2. However, at the start of the season, Baylor had some coronavirus issues that forced them to cancel some games and postpone others later. These problems are far behind Baylor and they will finally get a chance to beat the nation’s number one.
Gonzaga wants to make history.
The Bulldogs may be the first Division I basketball team to end a season undefeated since Indiana won 32-0 in a national championship in 1975-76. Indiana State in 1979, UNLV in 1991, Wichita State in 2014, and Kentucky in 2015 entered previous tournaments unbeaten only to drop a post-season game.
Gonzaga could also be the first non-power conference school to win a national championship since UNLV won the title in 1990. The Runnin ‘Rebels were at the Big West Conference at the time. Gonzaga is a member of the West Coast Conference.
Baylor is known more for its women’s basketball program than its men’s basketball program. The school has never won a men’s basketball title. The team was in the championship in 1948, but lost in the game against Kentucky. They haven’t been back since.
The Bears have had a solid run lately, and the 2020-21 season was their best season in a while. Baylor was 27-2 overall and 13-1 in the Big 12 conference and now has the chance to finish her streak without a champions.
Baylor defeated Hartford, Wisconsin, Villanova, Arkansas and Houston to advance to the final. MaCio Teague and Jared Butler were the top players on the team.
Gonzaga defeated Norfolk State, Oklahoma, Creighton, USC and UCLA to advance to the final. The last four matchup against Bruins has been considered one of the best tournament games of recent times. Drew Timme has been great for the Bulldogs in the last few games. Jalen Suggs hit the game winner against the Bruins.
The starting gun will be fired at 9:20 p.m. ET at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game can be viewed on CBS.